What A.S. positions do you wish to change?
We’d really like to revamp legislative affairs. We want this new position to go to all the CSSA meeting so the campus always has sense of what’s going on statewide and on a national level regarding higher education. We’re looking into a director of environmental affairs that position is designed to look into how to make the campus more sustainable, whether it be how we market recycling, the fuel PPM uses, what our infrastructure is made out of whether its recycle material used to make a desk. I believe we need to inform the students how the CSSA fees are being used. We want someone to go to these conferences, know about legislative bills, rally people together and possible form a lobby core. A lobby core is a group of students that are enthusiastic about politics. Kids who are interested in politics, but don’t have time to partake in A.S.
How will you ensure that A.S. is more financially secure?
Well, it’s good that we’re using up all of our money. All of this money is supposed to be used up by students. It’s impossible to fulfill (students’ request) because enrollment was cut by 2,000. It’s a good time to refocus our budget practices. Because in the past we’ve had excess enrollment, now we won’t have that we have system wide impaction going on.
How do your personal political views influence school politics?
I think A.S. is supposed to have a diverse group of students whether it is a political part, racial diversity, socio-economic diversity. So I think were never going to be completely objective because everyone comes in with certain baggage and upbringing. When you come to the senate, you have to know there’s not going to be a best-fit line like in math. It might not be something you align with, but its what students want on campus.
What do you perceive as your greatest challenges?
I think our biggest challenge, as a CSU, is that we have not lived up to our mission as a Cal State school. Our mission was to guarantee any California resident a place in higher education when they graduated from high school. With this system-wide impact we’ve started to change our applicant requirements and we have turned away residential students. One of the things we want to do is change the mindset of CSUN students, where students should be graduating in four years not six to seven. We really want to look at the advisement office on how we can improve that. Whether you do a group advisement or drop in or look at your DPR, you need to have some resources and guidance on how you need to plan for your future instead of taking classes that don’t count towards a degree.
Are you willing to take a pay cut to balance out the budget?
Yes, because the intent of student leaders compensation is so that students can stay at school instead of having jobs because this is a big commute school and it would be difficult for people to make the choice of whether to go to school or work. Your forcing somebody to not take a job because of the hours and some work places won’t allow that. So by offering a stipend hopefully that student can still participate and not have to worry about dropping out of school because they can’t pay. Yes (to taking a pay cut), because the reason I’m involved in A.S. is because I feel the stud government is here is to allow students to be empowered. So, by cutting pay by certain amount we’re empowering clubs to give more power to students. We’re putting the power in their hands.